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2001 GMC Sierra Engine Idles rough then dies

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by hoosierfarmer21, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. hoosierfarmer21

    hoosierfarmer21 New Member

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    I recently purchased a 2001 Sierra 1500 with the 5.3 L. I was driving along yesterday when the truck seemed to start to surging going down the road. I then got stopped in construction traffic a 1/2 mile down the road and the truck almost died in the middle of the road. I pulled into a parking lot and the truck then died pulling into a spot. The truck would start up fine and would idle at around 1000 RPM, then the idle would gradually drop down to 500 RPM and then lessen some more and die. From the time I started the truck do it dying would estimate to be around 1 minute. I was able to start it and keep it running and limp it back to the farm. Ran fine while driving to the farm except that it did do some more surging. Came home and did some research and figured I would try and clean up the throttle body and the mass air flow sensor so this morning I went and bought the cleaners from Autozone to do so. Went to the truck and started it up, idled at 1000 RPM for about 30 seconds then RPMs dropped and then died. Started again but only ran for maybe 5-10 seconds this time before dying.
    Should I be looking at the fuel pump now? Engine light is on but haven't had a chance to get a code reader on it since I can't drive it to a shop to have them check it out.
    Thanks for any and all help
    #1
  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

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    Likely is a fuel pressure issue. The truck should never run below 750 rpm because that's below the normal idle range. Definitely find a way to check the codes even if you just get a cheapo OBDII adapter from amazon and use the Torque app it will let you see the codes. That what I use on my truck.
    #2
  3. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

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    I would get the light checked but would also lean towards looking at the fuel pump/regulator. Also try and check the fuel pressure. See if it you are losing pressure as it starts to die.

    Looks like [MENTION=52248]Conlan Rose[/MENTION] beat me too it.
    #3
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator

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    x3 on the fuel issue. Pull the vacuum line off of the regulator. (located on the driver side fuel rail on the top side of the motor, may have to pull the "Vortec" cover off to get to it) If fuel comes out of where the vacuum line plugs into the regulator then your regulator is bad.
    #4
  5. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    the fuel pressures with the engine on should be above 53PSI. engine off ignition to on 60-65 psi and should hold for while. now if the pressure falls rapidly then the regulator or injector leaking.

    I think your vehicle also has a PCV and hoses, make sure they are good and no cracks . replace the PCV if old.

    sometimes this can be the cranksensor . checking the codes post here what pressures/codes found.

    normal idle should be about 600-675RPM . in gear or not. this is controlled by the IAC. throttle body cleaner cleaning of this parts is required from time to time. you will need to remove the IAC to clean out the bore hole. do not use too much cleaner . use a hair dryer to evap excess throttle body solvents before starting.

    tooth brush works good to loosen the carbon then wipe down with a cloth.
    #5
  6. 00chevy53

    00chevy53 New Member

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    Had a similar issue a few years ago and is probably your 02sensors going bad... Scan it to be sure but willing to bet 02 sensors is the culprit
    #6
  7. hoosierfarmer21

    hoosierfarmer21 New Member

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    Finally got around to working on the truck. It died probably 3 times before I was able to load it on a trailer. Ran fine once on the trailer. Check fuel pressure while running and had around 50 PSI. Backed off the trailer and drove it around for 15 minutes. Came back and truck sit for an hour and now truck won't start. Checked fuel pressure, 0 PSI. So we decided to change the fuel pump. Take bed off, remove and replace with new pump from AutoZone. Start truck up and it runs fine for 15 minutes. Shut it off to put bed back on. Have a couple beers then go to leave and truck won't start. Doing what it did all along. Turn key on and you can't hear the fuel pump turn on. But it might do this 20 times and on the 21st time you will turn the key on and the pump will activate and the truck will start. So my question is, what tells the pump to come on or shut off? Like if you turn the key on but don't actually start the truck, the pump will turn on but shuts off because you don't start the truck?
    Working on finding a code reader to see what if any codes are present. Thanks guys!
    #7
  8. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    when you replace a fuel pump on a vehicle this old the relay need be replaced. also how did you connect the new pump to the existing OEM carbody wiring ? what manufacturer did you use for the pump ? I hope not an AIRTEX !

    THE pcm WILL NOT CREATE ANY FAILURE CODES WITH A FUEL PUMP FAILURE.
    #8
  9. hoosierfarmer21

    hoosierfarmer21 New Member

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    It was an Airtex pump. They didn't have the A/C Delco pump in stock. There was a new connector that we had to splice into the truck wires to fit the new pump. We didn't change the relay but swapped it with the horn relay afterwards, both had the same numbers on them, and the problem was still there.
    Forgot to add that we hooked the old pump to a power source afterwards and it works so it may not have been the pump to begin with.
    #9
  10. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    if they gave me an airtex pump for free I would say no......

    the wires need be soldered. you must use the proper wire soldering and sealing to do any wire work in that area. the ground connection to the frame rail in the fuel tank area need be cleaned and secure.

    the old pump may run but with not the correct pressure. also when they start to go you can get them to run by tapping them ...

    so the engine ran for 15 min you checked the pressure all was good then the pump died ...not too bad for airtex. some had them not work out of the box.................
    #10
  11. hoosierfarmer21

    hoosierfarmer21 New Member

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    We didn't get the pump ground hooked up properly after we disconnected the ground for the tank filler neck. Cleaned up the frame and the connector and has ran fine since, knock on wood.

    What makes the AC Delco pump so much better than an Airtex? Both had a one year warranty. I probably would have bought the AC Delco if they would have had it but wanted to get the truck running. Guess if the Airtex craps out we can get the bed off pretty fast and we put anti-seize on the bed bolts so we can get the bed off in 15 minutes.
    #11
  12. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    so the pump ground was bad at the frame rail. this is common problem. not good for the pump running on low voltage with a bad return/ground connection.

    The reason airtex pumps are bad is the reports received on failures which occur 3-6 months after install..many on the forums have reported this Issue. not easy job and a PITA when this part fails.

    ac delco or delphi have been reported to work good.

    so what fuel pressures do you get now ? good luck ..
    #12
  13. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

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    Airtex may have a higher rate of failure but I have had issues with AC Delco too (I know everything can fail or be faulty so not claiming one is better). Had my fuel pump die, had it replaced with another AC Delco and it lasted 1 month to the day, had it replaced again and working ever since (few years now). [MENTION=63532]hoosierfarmer21[/MENTION] I hope everything works with it from here on out.
    #13
  14. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    it is true that even an ac delco product can be defective with the way quality is in todays world.

    however your the 2nd member that had this early failure that I know of.. on airtex that is an amount that is huge !
    #14
  15. hoosierfarmer21

    hoosierfarmer21 New Member

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    Ever since we got the pump ground hooked up properly the truck has ran fine, knock on wood. Had fuel pressure of around 50 psi. I have drove it about 150 miles so far. If the Airtex pump craps out on me some time I'll be sure to update the thread. Thanks for the help and advice. Wish I would have discovered this forum when I still had my 95 Sierra.
    #15
  16. j cat

    j cat Active Member

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    the fuel pressure need be 53 psi or more engine on. with a new pump I would expect 56-57 psi.

    key on engine off the pressure should be 60-65 psi.

    if the gauge is accurate 50 psi will cause the engine to run but your on the edge.. good luck.
    #16

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